Ask the Designer – curtains to pair with valances

Saffron Marigold - Updated: November 11, 2014

This came into our Ask the Designer inbox:

“I have a Roses in the Snow valance. Seek to pair it with a compatible kitchen curtain. Tropical Garden? Any other recommendations?

Also, I prefer tabs or rings for curtain tops vs. the sleeve pattern you use.”

and then another…

Thanks. Same question for Sultan’s Palace valances. I’d like something to mellow them out in their new setting (kitchen). Perhaps White Floral.

Mixing and matching valances and curtains is a fun way to add character and style to your windows They add depth and interest and paired with complementary throw pillows can create a truly unique look.

Roses in the Snow is a brilliant red and green print on an ivory ground and our reader is wondering if Tropical Garden, another one of our brilliantly hued prints in similar colors but on a tan background, will be a good pairing.

Roses in the Snow
Roses in the Snow

Tropical Garden swatch
Tropical Garden swatch

My suggestion is that even though they are similar in that they are both floral prints with somewhat similar hues, they have different backgrounds, and combining two bold prints with varying backgrounds may not be such a good idea. A general rule when combining prints in home decor, is that you pair up a bold pattern and a solid; a bold pattern and a smaller pattern; and two bold patterns with similar color backgrounds.

With the Roses in the Snow valance, I would suggest you pair it with one of these three options:

1. Spice Route curtains which has enough of a  strong orange red base that it comes across as a solid color

2. Red Poppy curtains which with its small, delicate print and red and green colors will be a perfect foil

3. Tropical Garden (c) curtains, again a smaller print in similar hues.

Roses in the Snow valance, and curtain ideas
Roses in the Snow valance with Spice Route, Red Poppy and Tropical Garden (c) curtains

For your Sultans Palace valance, I would follow a similar approach and pair it with one of the following:

1. Royal Mansour curtains, an ethereal white-on-white print, not only providing relief from the boldly patterned valance, but echoing its Moroccan medallion-ed vibe.

2. India Rose (c) curtains with their beautiful feminine pink and purple hues, but enough of a vanilla ground to provide a neutral backdrop

3. Lavender Dreams (c) curtains with delicate lilac to complement the purple on the valance, and green, on creamy white

Sultans Palace valance and curtain ideas
Sultans Palace valance and curtain ideas

I hope these suggestions have been helpful, and as always we would love to know, and see pics, of what you decided.